“We already have a set of initiatives planned to respond to different situations, whether by mobilising professional training instruments, which workers can, through companies, use while this stoppage is taking place, or by facilitating social benefits to which they may be entitled so that they can be processed in the most agile way possible”, Miguel Fontes told Lusa agency.

“The government is closely monitoring the situation and we will receive the Coordinating Committee of the Workers' Committees of the Companies of the Autoeuropa Industrial Park, in a meeting attended by the Minister of Labour, myself and also the Secretary of State for Economy”, he added.

Miguel Fontes also mentioned that the Government has spoken with those responsible for Autoeuropa, but recalled that “the situation does not end just within Autoeuropa itself”.

“There is a whole group of companies that provide services to Autoeuropa. The objective is to be able to understand the situation of these companies, to what extent this shutdown affects them, and try to find the plurality of situations that are necessary to try to minimize the impacts of this shutdown, particularly in terms of employment, which is the dimension that concerns us most”, he stressed.

According to Miguel Fontes, in Autoeuropa's supply chain, in addition to the 19 companies installed in the industrial park, there are another 86 companies.

Autoeuropa was forced to stop production for nine weeks due to the difficulties of a supplier in Slovenia heavily affected by the floods that affected that country.

The production halt has already led to the dismissal of 300 temporary workers and those on fixed-term contracts, 100 from the Volkswagen car factory, and around 200 from various companies located in the Autoeuropa industrial park, in Palmela, in the district of Setúbal.